Shoreditch's new stylish hotel and private members club.
- Credit: Niall Clutton
Much as I wanted to explore Shoreditch's latest hip hotel, it was proving difficult to leave my room.
Torn between luxuriating in the freestanding bath, or steaming off in the shower-cum-hammam, I'd opted for both. The indulgence of stepping from the underfloor heating of the dark tiled bathroom to slew off the cares of the city in my own personal steam room was too tempting.
We emerged radiant from our suite to sample the understated elegance and the latest in mixology at The Mondrian's Christina's bar. Over a brace of whisky and ginger, and apple and vodka cocktails, it was obvious that locals and guests were enjoying the stylish but relaxed set up of a Sunday evening.
Then there was dinner at Dani Garcia's first UK restaurant. The Andalucian chef is on a mission to create a casual concept to democratise fine dining at his Bibo restaurants, and with its subterranean glamour, courtyard seating and informal sharing vibe, it's a canny addition to the Hoxton restaurant scene. Jettisoning the usual style-over-substance hotel restaurant fare it peddles a sophisticated tapas offer, runing the gamut from vast sharing platters of paella, to a trio of melt in the mouth croquettes, with slivers of Jamon Iberico perched on top.
Patatas bravas in a piquant sauce, chilled white asparagus with a citrussy dip, crispy calamari with garlic mayo, and a simple but delicious roasted pork and veg with paprika-spiked fried potatoes were all outstanding, washed down with exemplary wines by the glass from a well judged list. There was sadly no room for the (probably) huge chocolate sharing mousse as we decided on a walk around an area that has been hard hit by pandemic lockdowns.
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The move from Sea Containers House to opposite a derelict Shoreditch car park could seem odd for this luxury lifestyle brand with a reputation for top contemporary design. But a recce around the block, past The Hoxton and Hart hotels, with The Z and the Courthouse close by, reveals it is turning into a veritable hotel quarter for tourists drawn to East London's buzzing cultural and entertainment scene.
But the fully refurbished 120 room hotel - formerly The Curtain - isn't just hosting out of towners. Londoners can sign up for a private members club with use of a bar, screening room, well equipped gym, and rooftop pool.
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We had a chance to see it the next morning during our a la carte breakfast of pastries, orange juice and perfectly cooked eggs at Altitude at The Curtain. Boasting a vista over London's rooftops, this airy space is used by hotel residents until noon and afterwards by club members who can splash, drink, and enjoy the views.
The Curtain Members Club reopened at the start of September and as well as access to the Rose Bar, and Altitude there's a ground floor co-working space, screenings, and weekly events planned at The Design studio including live music, panel discussions and club nights.
This collaboration between hotel group Accor, sbe and the Reuben Brothers is a vote of confidence in London in general and the area in particular, with the Reuben Brother's declaring that "a European flagship Mondrian hotel will enhance Shoreditch's already thriving artistic contribution to our capital" as well as being "a go-to luxury lifestyle brand for culinary and culture-seekers from all over the world.”
Between Garcia's brilliant cooking, Christina's heady cocktails and the spot-on customer service we experienced during our stay, it should keep this corner of Curtain Road thriving for some time to come.
The Mondrian Hotel, 45 Curtain Rd, London EC2A.
Phone: 020 3988 4455